Monday, December 3, 2012

Visitors and Christmas Sewing

Hello Everyone!

I know it has been awhile since I posted, but the month of November was very busy for us. My sewing room doubles as our guest room, so four sets of back-to-back visitors left me with nowhere to sew... and no time to do it!

On top of that, the few things I have been able to piece together are Christmas presents, so you can't see them anyway! (I feel as though I should follow that statement up with some sort of taunting phrase.... Nah nah nah nah boo boo....)

Here are a few items I have finished that everyone on here is allowed to see!

 The first two pictures are Christmas table runners that I made for my mom. Nothing special, but I did LOVE the fabric!!

The next few pictures are of the smallest quilt and pillow set I will ever make. At the same time, it will be the only time that I can say I was able to make a quilt and two pillows start to finish in under an hour! 

My friend (I mean Santa) is giving her daughters a dollhouse that she built and painted for Christmas. She asked me to make the quilt for the bed. I used fabric that I had leftover from a pillow I made Abigail last summer.

 Lastly, what is a blog post without pictures of my adorable little lady? So here are her "Christmas card preview" pictures!

 I won't be posting again until January, since all of my projects over the next few weeks will be presents. I will be sure to update then and include pictures of all of the projects I've been putting off posting about!

Merry Christmas and enjoy the rest of 2012!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween in a Hurry

Do you ever get an idea in your head and decide that it has to be done right away? I do. And when I get excited about a project, there is no stopping me. That is how Halloween was for my family.

I woke up and realized one of my favorite quilt stores was having the start of their after Halloween fabric sale. I decided then that the lack of decorations around the house was depressing and I just HAD to make something for the table for the festivities.

Hence the "great plan..."

I headed to the fabric store, but a half yard of four fabrics and decided I was going to do a chevron table runner. Keep in mind that I have never done one of these, but was excited about the idea. So I got home, cut the rectangles, and began to sew. And no, I had no pattern and no experience, only the drive of the deadline (that night) and my excitement!

Here is what I ended up with:

Halloween Table Topper (Unfinished, top only)
I absolutely LOVE how it turned out! But of course, but desire to finish was more than the time I had left and I decided to finish it, that is when it all went wrong. I sandwiched it, sewed the edges, and flipped it like a pillow case. Then I realized that I managed to put the insul-bright on the wrong side of the sandwich and it ended up on the outside of my table runner. NOT GOOD. But what was even worse: I decided to "fix" it. Needless to say I now have to take the whole thing apart and fix more than just the batting.

I will post pictures of the finished project once I get over my disappointment and take it apart. I will try and finish it before I put away the other Halloween stuff. At least that way when I pull out the decorations next year I will have it finished and it will just be a distant memory!

On a MUCH happier note, my daughter was the most adorable Minnie Mouse EVER! Even if she refused to wear her ears! And she absolutely loved trick-or-treating, as long as no one around her was wearing a mask!

"Practicing" Trick-or-Treating
With her friends. This is the closest to standing still I could get!
Checking out her treasures

 She had a blast. At the end of the night she kept dumping her pumpkin and rechecking that her candy was still there. For a second I didn't think we'd be able to pry the pumpkin away so she could go to sleep!

Happy (Belated) Halloween Everyone!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Sew Little Time

I'm all about the corny puns!

This has been one crazy, hectic week for the family, which leaves little time for sewing. While I did get two Christmas table runner tops pieced, that took about an hour. The rest of my week was cleaning, errands, and just general non-fun things with a few exceptions...

I did want to take a moment and share the highlights of our week though!

I am attempting to start up an Etsy Shop. But before I can do that, I need to built an inventory. One thing I plan on selling are quilted table runners and toppers. Here are a few I'm currently working on:

Pieced tops for holiday table runners and toppers. 
My friend Judy (who moved from Alaska with us) and I decided to take part in the Pretty Muddy Women's Run at Pocahontas State Park this past weekend. 3.107 miles of running through mud and obstacles. It was a blast! Here are some pictures from the day!

P.S.- Old prom dresses do come in handy!

Part of the race proceeds were donated to the charity Alex's Lemonade Stand, which benefits Childhood cancer research. So here is Abigail enjoying the lemonade...

Abigail also had her weekly "Tumble Tots" class. So I figured who doesn't want to see adorable children doing gymnastics?

Hope you enjoyed! 

Next week: HALLOWEEN!

Until next time,

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Two by Two" and why you shouldn't quilt tired

I did it! I finally finished the "Two by Two" quilt top I've been working on! It feels like I've been working on this for forever, when in reality I only took the class three weeks ago.

Maybe it's because I have so many projects that I am excited about and wanted this finished before I could start!

Andy bought me the makings for this quilt on his R&R from Afghanistan, complete with another pattern. I loved the fabric, but wasn't as into the pattern it came with. So I waited to make it. Upon arrival in Virginia and checking out the local quilt shop (Jo Jo's Quilt Shop) I noticed a class and thought my fabric would be great in the quilt!

Melrose by Red Rooster Fabrics
(Black is not part of collection)
The pattern was "Two by Two." My instructor, Laura Blanchard, designed it for Plum Tree Quilts. It consists of making a million squares that look like this and matching them together...

Like this:

Add the boarders, and voila, you have this:

This is the first quilt I've made for ME! I LOVE IT!

That being said, this was a great learning experience. Taking my first ever quilting class was a great way to pick up tricks of the trade. Did you know there is a wrong way to iron? And of course I was doing it that way! I also learned some great tricks for cutting. Including using multiple rulers for one cut and not using the grid on the cutting mat. It was wonderful!

With all great learning experiences also comes the time where you find your weaknesses. Matching seams is a great weakness for me. Some of mine matched perfectly, and others didn't come together so well. But practice makes perfect so I will continue to work on it!

                 ^Great match                      ^ Not so great
I was VERY determined to finish the quilt last night and made one simple mistake after another. It probably took twice as long to finish the boarder as it should have. It was both because of the rushing to finish and the fatigue I felt from sewing late into the night. That is one of the reasons that for now the quilt is being put away while I create some more fun stuff! I need to put it away before I rush the back and/or quilting just to get it done. The quilting process shouldn't be rushed, so I know when to step back!

Last but not least, what is a quilt blog with an adorable picture of my tiny lady? Andy was VERY helpful this week entertaining her so I could finish my top. She loves playing hide and seek with her Daddy, but she hasn't quite figured out the hiding portion yet! She loves to stand and count with him... She's too funny! (She was mid-outfit change during this round, hence the topless baby)

Until next time!

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like (a quilting) Christmas!

Ok. It's not. It is October, and I absolutely hate when stores have Christmas stuff up before Halloween. That being said, my wonderful husband surprised me with an early birthday present and I couldn't help but get so excited that I actually bought Christmas fabric, and started making a table runner!

Let me add that my birthday isn't until December, so this is REALLY an early present!

My gift:
AccuQuilt Go!
I am so excited for my new AccuQuilt! He bought me the "starter kit" that came with 10 fabric cutting dies. For those of you who know you, you know that cutting is my absolute LEAST favorite part of the quilting process. I am so nervous the entire time waiting to make the mistake that will leave me with a wrongly cut piece, therefore needing more fabric. (Ok, I don't hate the needing more fabric part...)

I was so excited that I went ahead and bought a charm pack of "Blitzen" by BasicGrey for Moda Fabrics. 

Not only did I buy it, but I already cut and organized the hexagons! What should have taken me hours of measuring and cutting took less than 3 minutes. Honestly, it took longer sticking them all to the design wall than it did to cut them!

I am forcing myself to put the AccuQuilt away. I need to force myself to finish the "Two by Two" quilt I started before I move on anything else. That is the purple, grey, and beige fabric above the Blitzen runner. There will be a post on the Two by Two quilt on a different day...

I was too excited not to share!

Until next time!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Hexagon Table Runner

Rainy Sundays are the best days for finishing projects in my opinion! Abigail is happily relaxing and watching Barney, so I took the time to finish a project I've been excited about for awhile.

I found the idea for a hexagon table runner in the most recent issue of "Quilts & More" and used the hexagon quilt technique out of "Quilt Sampler."

I used the Moda charm pack of "Phenomenal Fall" for the hexagons and the panel from Moda's "Grand Finale" for the back. I had a few charm squares leftover from a quilt I made my mom (also "Grand Finale"), so I threw them into the mix as well. You've got to love Moda precuts!

I also used Insul-Bright batting so I could use the runner as a hot pad for the holidays. I love anything that can be multi-purpose. And heck, what's the point of making something if it's not going to be used?

I was a little intimidated getting started, as cutting these alone were a hassle! I actually cut them about 3 weeks ago, but who's counting? Here are a few pictures of the sewing process...
Finally cut!
Pin and Sew 

Sew pieces into rows.
Sew the rows together. (Directions in magazine)
I really want to start getting better about taking pictures of the sewing/quilting process, but it turns out that this is not the project. As I got closer to the end I got so excited and just kept going, as the camera lay forgotten. So here are my pictures of the finished project. I am so excited and love it! I think I'm going to make a similar one for Christmas!

I love the back almost as much as the front!
Up Close...
Love it!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

New to the Blogging World

Good Morning! 

As I follow along the Moda Sweet Celebrations blog tour, I think to myself... I really should start a blog! Not only to show others what I do, but to keep a record to myself of the wonderful (or so I think) thing I've created!

Here is a link to the Sweet Celebrations Blog Hop. Make sure to check out all of the wonderful quilters' pages and comment for chances to win the book!

Since I am new to this, I thought I would take a moment to introduce myself:

My name is Olivia. I am a quilter, and sometimes other miscellaneous crafter. I have been quilting for about 2 years, and crafting for a lifetime. I LOVE having the ability to take small pieces of something to create something else! 

I am lucky enough to have a wonderful husband who not only supports my "quilting habit," but encourages it as well. I am also blessed to have a wonderful 19 month old daughter who loves to "help." Therefore, I am happy to say she still takes naps in the afternoon allowing me the chance to sew.

My two loves snuggling under the quilts I've made them.

Until next time!